I just finished re-reading one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors, and wanted to share these words with you. Because they are beautiful and true.

Excerpt from A Million Miles In a Thousand Year, by Donald Miller:

I realized that for years I’d thought of love as something that would complete me, make all my troubles go away. I worshiped at the altar of romantic completion. And it had cost me, plenty of times. And it had cost most of the girls I’d dated, too, because I wanted  them to be something they couldn’t be. It’s too much pressure to put on a person. I think that’s why so many couples fight, because they want their partners to Interruptedvalidate and affirm them, and if they don’t get that, they feel as though they’re going to die. But it’s a terrible thing to wake up and realize the person you just finished crucifying didn’t turn out to be Jesus.

I was interviewing my friend Susan Isaacs… She said she had married a guy, and he was just a guy. He wasn’t going to make all her problems go away, because he was just a guy. And that freed her to really love him as a guy, not as an ultimate problem solver. And because her husband believed she was just a girl, he was free to really love her too. Neither needed the other to make everything okay. They were simply content to have good company through life’s conflicts. I thought that was beautiful.

…When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.

I think it’s great to want a husband, or to want a wife (I’m talking to the unmarried teens here). It’s natural. It’s how God created us! But while phrases like “he completes me” sound great, it’s not how we should view marriage. Marriage does not complete us. Nothing on this earth can complete us, and we will not be complete until the earth and skies themselves have been made new. I know that sounds depressing – as if all of our hope and joy will be in the future – but the thought is actually amazingly freeing. I suppose a simplified way to say it is – lower your expectations on other people, because not a single one can give you what you are looking for.

As Donald Miller described, when you stop expecting a person to complete you and to be perfect and to say the right words all the time and to understand you and to love you unconditionally, you find freedom to love them for who they are. When you expect someone to be Jesus, you will be disappointed 100% of the time. But when you realize that the people you live with and the person you may one day marry will mess up all the time, when you stop expecting perfection, you will no longer be disappointed as they fall short, because they will. They are fallen, I am fallen, you are fallen.

Or as Oswald Chambers wrote,

“Never look for right in the other man, but never cease to be right yourself. We are always looking for justice; the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is—Never look for justice, but never cease to give it.”

While this is all great advice for any relationship, I think that it applies to marriage the most. Because that is what we – however greatly or mildly, however subconsciously – look to to complete us. Just look at what culture tells us! The majority of books and movies and stories out there are about a guy and a girl finding each other. Every story looks different and every ending is different, but in the end they portray marriage as something that gives a completion to your life! Without it = Miserable, With it = Whole. I know I often commit the mistake of thinking that marriage will infinitely improve my life, and that somehow a fallen, human guy will make my entire life better. That I will no longer feel lonely or inadequate or unloved.

Don’t place those expectations on any human, cause they cannot meet them.

We should not lower our standards as we wait for a godly spouse, but we should be aware that humans do not complete. Only God can fulfill and provide what we need.

^

This video fits pretty much perfectly. 🙂

Thanks for reading, I hope you find this encouraging in your own life!

Sarah

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